James Gwertzman is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and executive, with 15 years of experience in the game industry. Prior to founding PlayFab, James started and ran PopCap Asia, headquartered in Shanghai, with offices in Tokyo, Seoul, and Singapore. At PopCap, James witnessed firsthand the challenges facing traditional game developers making the transition to games-as-services, and in particular the challenges of building and operating profitable free-to-play games. PopCap China achieved distinction as one of very few western game developers to build a profitable presence in China.
James joined PopCap in 2005 when it acquired Sprout Games, the casual game developer he had co-founded in 2003. He also co-founded console game developer Escape Factory in 2000. Prior to entering the game industry, he worked on server technologies at Microsoft, receiving 2 patents for web personalization work he led for MSN.
Additionally, James is an advisor to Code.org, where he served in 2013 as Chief Evangelist, running the successful Hour of Code initiative which resulted in more than 20 million K-12 students experiencing their first hour-long introduction to computer programming. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a computer science degree in 1995.